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back to article Teen sticks Xbox 360 power supply in bowl of water

A North Carolina teenager who decided the best way to cool his Xbox's overheating power supply was to stick it in a bowl of water was knocked unconcious by the resulting electric shock and earned himself a trip to hospital with "minor burns to his right hand and foot". According to local news reports, the 14-year-old Brevard …

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Anonymous Coward

Darwin would be proud

Beats kicking a ball in the bark. Kicking the bucket in your living room.

Perhaps he had no friends and wanted to play against the goldfish...

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Tom
Bronze badge

Where?

Which hospital?!

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Darwin

This is the problem with Darwins theories. Some obvious candidates manage to survive. We obviously need to increase the current available to ensure a good toasting, or equip the emergency services with humane destroyers.

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Anonymous Coward

Pass me the brain, Igor

Messing around with high-voltage equipment and being sent to the "Transylvania Hospital", one wonders if the youth still had all his limbs attached at the end of his visit, or whether he emerged with a bolt through his neck...

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Problem with US mains supply

This highlights one of the big problems with the US 120v mains: there's just not enough poke to help Darwin. Also, it makes electric kettles a problem: a 3kW kettle would pull 25A ... no wonder my American friends use old technology gas hobe for their cuppas.

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Rob

<a flash of light>

"Igor! Throw the switch!"

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Anonymous Coward

He did it wrong....

I don't know if he is likely to read this but he made an error. It is the Xbox itself that overheats, not the power supply. You need to use a bath of water and drop the actual Xbox in there. It works best if you are in the bath with it...

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perhaps not a darwin award winner..

Although we hope this kid should have known better, the level of parenting these days means that if there is not a game that revolves around killing baddies so that you don't get electrocuted via a water based conductor, then why should the kid know.

Perhaps we should be asking MS why they cant make products that can be used for extended periods without over heating and becoming unusable until they cool. Other people make such products but it seems any hint of a standard (even if it is a safety standard) is enough to make MS think they can re-write the rules.

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Anonymous Coward

Cleatus?

"Momma, I think I done sumfink bad!".

Don't know why Cleatus from the Simpsons sprang to mind?

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Litigation

He should sue - I bet nowhere on the device does it say "do not submerge in water" (although it most certainly will after the case) - he should win millions. He may even force Microsoft to redesign the XBox and PSU to be fully waterproof, and damn right too. Won't somebody think of the children?

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Re: He did it wrong....

He would of course also need to cool the power supply in the bath to get the Darwin Effect. Dunno what comes out of the LT side of an X-Box PSU, but it's probably not enough to do the trick...

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RE: Litigation

It does actually state in the user manual that you should not expose the power supply or the console to water.

Still, this does beg the question. How come a 14 year old didn't understand that water conducts electricity? If this is this an indcation of the state of the US education system then it explains a lot....mind you we have the same kind of problems over here (UK).

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Well....

As a teen, and I know this a quite a huge assumption, shouldn't he have been told, at ANY point in his life "Don't put electrical equipment in water!".

Maybe he was just so keen to get online and hurl racist abuse round like most Yanks do on 360Live that in his red-neck opinion it'd work.

As for finding the suggestion online - I'd like to congratulate said author and hope that all people with such problems and lack of IQ follow his suggestion.

Here's hoping the jolt was enough to make the little idiot impotent!

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Title

He obviously wasn't playing Bioshock then - where you can fry any enemies standing in pools of water by zapping them with electricity.

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ROFLMAO

I'll get me coat...

(Sorry been one of those weeks)

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Anonymous Coward

This is why I deny MS products entry to my house

They emit radiation that makes you stupid, which ends you up in a vicious circle of aquiring more MS products, until the radiation level reaches a critical point, as in this case.

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Anonymous Coward

Clearly...

...we should ban that evil Internet before it gets out of hand.

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Tips online

"tried to fix it on his own based on tips he found online"

I don't know about anyone else but I want to know where he found advice on dunking power supplies.

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Re: Darwin ( @ Mad Mike )

"This is the problem with Darwins theories. Some obvious candidates manage to survive."

To be fair, I think nature gave him credit for at least attempting to wrap it in plastic. Although still plain stupid, credit must be given for an attempt to play it safe. He should consider this a last warning, however!

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Anonymous Coward

120 V is about right to kill ...

... because the voltage across the body produces just the right current (about 100 milliamps) to throw the heart into fibrillation. Here in America, we're told that Europeans think that we're nuts to run on 120 V, which is a perfect killing voltage. That kid is just plain lucky.

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Really puts..

... the live in x-box live! I guess he really could feel the power.

Shame the health service is so good these days (comparitavly) - there are far too many inDuhViduals around to be good for the species as a whole.

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Rob

the best part it...

Water conducts heat better than air but it's much more difficult to move around - the vents in the PSU likely wouldn't allow enough water to convect through and if it has a fan it likely wouldn't be powerful enough to move the water away from the overheated parts (never seen an xbox PSU so I don't know if it has a fan or not) so even if it was waterproof electrically, dunking it is going to make it overheat faster.

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Anonymous Coward

@Jason

"Maybe he was just so keen to get online and hurl racist abuse round like most Yanks do on 360Live that in his red-neck opinion it'd work."

Hmmm.

Firstly; "redneck" (not hyphenated, BTW) is an abusive term relating to a specific racial group and is therefore by definition "racial abuse".

Secondly; "Yank" is a contraction of "Yankee" and as such makes the opposite geographical implication to the word "redneck" (Yankee being a northerner, redneck being a poor, white southerner).

And no; I'm not a Yank or a redneck, just a limey with an annoyingly sharp eye for hypocrisy ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Litigation

"Still, this does beg the question. How come a 14 year old didn't understand that water conducts electricity? If this is this an indication of the state of the US education system then it explains a lot."

This seems to support my hypothesis: The IQ of the USA is constant.

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Ru

Back in my day,

We all knew that you should never use electrical weapons whilst swimming, unless you also had a handy pentagram.

"Although we hope this kid should have known better, the level of parenting these days means that if there is not a game that revolves around killing baddies so that you don't get electrocuted via a water based conductor, then why should the kid know."

I blame the lack of lightning guns.

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Anonymous Coward

If he we 8 this would be acceptable. 14? You'd expect more.

While he's hacking his XBox to make it better tell him if he wants to see where all the enemies are hidden in a level you can cheat by taking off the cover and looking directly into the CD Laser. They all show up as ones and zeros I hear.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:the best part it

I would have though with the specific heat capacity of water the thermal difference between the water and the PSU that water would not have been a hugh issue.

Also the XBOX had a on-board PSU so unless you dunked the whole unit in water would not have been an issue.

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"Public service" website

This story got me thinking that perhaps I (or someone else) should start a public service website in order to cleanse the gene pool. It would work by posing as a sensible tech site but with suggestions for fixing products which are stupid and potentially dangerous.

Anyone with half a brain would see it as a joke and laugh, and anyone too stupid to realise it was a joke would soon be out of the way.

So is anyone up for helping me start it? :)

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Education system?

State of the US education system? Some people are just stupid. Others are just thoughtless. They come that way out of the box - education systems aren't needed to explain that fact. One incident is hardly evidence - it's an anecdote. Anecdote != data.

OTOH, the number of people claiming that an anecdote = data is sufficiently large that perhaps we can call *that* data on *some* people's education...

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Anonymous Coward

this isn't the dumbest

thing I have ever heard of but there are tips out there

that are as far as I can tell designed to maim blind kill

someone who doesn't know any better just as there are

viruses and malware that do nothing but damage don't

believe anything you read on the internet it's populated

by Darwin Award sadists and cruelty freaks.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: "Public service" website

Their is one for the car industry maybe there should be one for the IT industry.

http://www.sniffpetrol.com/ > www.forkinapowersocket.com anyone?

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Tim

Water cooled.

You'd think he'd have gradually learnt over time that everytime his mobile phone ("cell phone") got dirty and he gave it a bath it stopped working, and began to slowly lean away from submerging his electronic devices in liquids, even if he wasn't specifically told not to dip the power supply in.

Also why water and not in a bucket of ice...which is colder (I think he might have know this one), or a fan?

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Anonymous Coward

Gotta laugh

I just had to laugh at all these comments saying that water conducts electricity... Nope. Go to the bottom of the class...

Pure water (we're talking H2O, not spring water etc) does NOT conduct electricity. I bet that he just used plain old tap water, or worse would be bottled water, which does conduct electricity by virtue of all the chemicals and minerals that are in there with the H2O.

So, if anyone else is planning to do this, make sure you use pure, distilled water. Or better still, dump the xbox. Failing that, oil is the best thing to use... if you look on mini-itx.com (I think) you'll find that someone has made a silent computer by removing the fan, mounting it all inside an aquarium and duly filling it with (used) cooking oil. Brilliant for silent cooling but does smell and I would HATE to have to replace dead components.

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Anonymous Coward

Muzbee ome skooled

They didnt have electrickery in the bible back in the days of Jesus so I suppose there was no go reason for him to have learnt about it.

You would presume that if you wrap an overheating plastic cased power supply which relies on air circulation to remain cool in a plasic bag and then leave it in a bucket of water so ensuring that there aint no way on earth air is going to get to it, it is going to eventually melt and with the thing plugged in to the mains the flash, bang and cloud of acrid smoke is going to be spectacular.

Somehow a runners up place in this years Darwin Awards seems appropriate.

In both the case of the overheating power supply and its moronic owner one thing can be certain. There sure as hell was no Inteligent Desginer involved.

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Bronze badge

An Electrical Engineer writes

They didn't have the Bible back in the days of Jesus, either.

Didn't Cray cool their supercomputers with a flow of CFC-based refridgerant?

Us EE's have a saying: "Volts jolts, mills kills". Meaning that you can have an alarmingly high voltage electric shock and suffer only minor ill-effects, but it only takes a few milliamps passing across the heart to stop it. So it all depends on how you receive the shock. Taking a bath with a mains-powered appliance is likely to result in lots of both whether its half-assed american or full-on euro supply voltage.

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@ Andy Worth

I'll host it at the "personal or family" rate. Seems like it's a good way to improve the human "family."

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Well, if you REALLY want to get technical...

...water DOESN'T conduct electricity. Pure water is actually a pretty good insulator. It's actually the stuff dissolved in the water that conducts electricity; purified, distilled water won't.

And when it comes to voltage...hell, there are sex toys that generate tens of thousands of volts, but such negligible current that they do little more than tingle. Violet wands, they're called.

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RE: "Public service" website

There is one already there and waiting, it even has the perfect target audience for eugenic cleansing already provided for you. It is called 'Conservapedia' and there is no chance of any of the moderators or readers (in those states where witchcraft such as 'readin n ritin' are not punishable by crucifixion at the hands of the men in white sheets and pointy hats) understanding enough science to spot the 'killer' hints.

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Law

An idea

I think we should put the cases like this one (the ones that should have made it into the darwin awards but somehow escaped death) into an anti-Darwin awards list.

I think the Creationists-award is appropriate. Because obviously god saved the boy as he had important gaming to do in the future...

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Redneck / Yank

Redneck doesn't necessarily mean Southerner in the US. If it means anything at all, it really translates to more like "poor and uneducated." Using that definition, there are Rednecks in every state of the US. It's just that within the US, the stereotype (which is mostly invalid, this example excluded) is that many/most Southerners are also Rednecks.

And yes, in the States, Southerners use the term Yankees to refer to Northerners, but to anybody outside the US, it seems common to use the term Yank to refer to any American. It's not wrong, it's just a different perspective.

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Anonymous Coward

He wrapped it in plastic and duct tape, so how did he get shocked?

Hey, he wrapped it in plastic and duct tape, no doubt creating a water tight seal around the cords and power supply so how on Earth was he shocked?

Oh and for those of you discussing PSU thermodynamics:

1) The PSU on the XBOX 360 is EXTERNAL so no he didn't need to put the unit in the water, (unless it wasn't the PSU overheating but the CPU)

2) There are no vents, fans, or holes on the external brick PSU for the XBOX 360.

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Wii ?

Poor guy, at least it was only water on a xbox though.

No doubt if it had of been a Wii device he would have misunderstood them words of the web that's outa ya head and dunked it in a big bucket of piss.

To which the paramedics would have to say ' looks like ur in trouble here son, another case of over pissistent gaming.'

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Anonymous Coward

Don't ask. Don't tell.

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" works for the education system as well. Maybe he was in a school that specialized in Abstinence Training.

ba-dum-dum

Hey, get back here – you took my coat! ;)

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Silver badge

Quake?

"We all knew that you should never use electrical weapons whilst swimming, unless you also had a handy pentagram."

If you had 10 cells remaining, you could safely use the Lightning Gun, with 100 health and no pentagram. ;)

Even though pure water is not conductive, tap water and such has some concentration of salts that are highly conductive; that is why we have the notion of water being conductive. I wonder what kind of "tips" did the teen find to dip a *connected* PSU in water (bags aren't that watertight).

I'd prefer going for Liquid Nitrogen. Now THAT'S some liquid cooling!!!

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Anonymous Coward

@ @JASON

"Firstly; "redneck" (not hyphenated, BTW) is an abusive term relating to a specific racial group and is therefore by definition "racial abuse"."

So what?

What's wrong with a bit of "racial abuse"?

You pathetic politically-correct pom.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Litigation

"Still, this does beg the question. How come a 14 year old didn't understand that water conducts electricity?"

That's what I'm wondering. I mean, if he's 14 he obviously would've been around in the era of Pokémon, and not an episode went by when someone didn't state that water conducts electricity... It's thanks to a Japanese cartoon that I'm doing so well in Science. =)

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RE: Tips Online

' "tried to fix it on his own based on tips he found online"

I don't know about anyone else but I want to know where he found advice on dunking power supplies. '

maybe from here http://www.weakendproductions.co.uk/movs/jebsjobs.html might have thought this was a real life situation

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@ @ @ jason

to the best of my knowledge, "pom" is only used by aussies. The Yanks - or their rhyming slang derivative "Septics" - would use some other term. "Limey" has probably faded from the lexicon.

As for rednecks.. its a state of mind, not an ethnic group. Anyone claiming ownership of it probably does qualify as one, but that doesnt give them exclusive rights.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Litigation

"Still, this does beg the question. How come a 14 year old didn't understand that water conducts electricity?"

The kid is clearly just thinking, he is trying to cool an air cooled electrical device by putting it in water, which as above just wouldn't work. He could have just gone for a simple option, like open a window or point a fan at it!

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